FSB’s offer to DNR: “All we need is a basement”

Today the Ukrainian National Security Council released a new intercepted call, this time, allegedly, between Alexander Zacharchenko, self-appointed PM of the self-declared DNR, and a certain Alexey Markov.

Alexey Markov (right) https://i1.wp.com/cs181.vk.me/u3209431/a_8b7a1b2f.jpgis the Moscow chief of the fund-raising organization for the DNR/LNR entitites. His role has been to gather donations, in kind and in cash, to purchase goodies and “military equipment” for the militias in Eastern Ukraine.

The website where his account number and contacts are given, says that

due to the fact that our fund-raising for military equipment for the rebels in Novorossiya has gone beyond  a single campaign, we have set up a coordination center” etc etc

Alexey Markov is a self-described communist, likes Dire Straits. Apparently, if we are to believe the authenticity of the tape, his fund-raising-for-arms activity is done in close coordination with the FSB, given that he was used as conduit to make “DNR” certain offers that DNR’s Prime Minister simply couldn’t refuse.

Before you watch leaked conversation below, I would like to confirm that I spoke at length with Mr. Markov today. He was aware of the leak, but immediately disparaged the authenticity of the call. When I confronted him with the fact that I compared (via forensic software) Alexander Zacharchenko’s voice from other media appearances to the SBU sample, Mr. Markov hypothesized that someone else, impersonating him, might have called Zacharchenko.

At any rate, I will now run a voice comparison on Markov’s actual voice from our conversation, and post results later – your opinion on authenticity is very much welcome.

(Note: you may need to enable subtitles on your browser)

As you can hear, at the end of the conversation, Mr. Markov seems to suggest that he will personally meet with Zacharchenko, at least that is the latter’s expectation.

Indeed, this morning, Alexey Markov posted the following on his VK wall:

We keep on working. Very soon I myself will go there, so that the improvement of the material base is in my personal interests


I spoke with Alexey Markov this evening. For the sake of completeness, I am posting his full answers below (my voice is not captured by the recording software, and I would prefer to keep it that way, just in case 🙂

Here are the bullet-points from my conversation with Markov:

  • It is an incredible joke, this whole tape leak.
  • Why would FSB resort to the services of a nobody such as himself?
  • “I have absolutely no contacts to FSB or to any government institutions. I am just a volunteer who does this on my own conviction and spare time”
  • It could be a complete fake, or someone else might have called Zacharchenko.
  • I have no contacts with FSB..
  • No, it is not true that we raise funds for arms; we raise funds for military equipment, that is different. If we were raising funds for arms, I would be arrested, as this is a crime.
  • I have no contacts with FSB
  • Yes, you are right, I was planning to go to fight in Donetsk, but the Novorossiya leadership told me I am more needed where I am now.
  • Do i speak with DNR leadership? I only speak with the commanders. I don’t even know their real names, just their aliases.
  • I have no contacts with FSB.

Here is the full conversation.



3 thoughts on “FSB’s offer to DNR: “All we need is a basement”

  1. Well, that’s one less worry. I have feared that Sasha Z. was too straightforward and salt-of-the-earth to survive in the shark pens, but he handles that one perfectly. “Uh huh. Uh huh. Why don’t you come down here in person?”

    Not a nibble.

  2. To expand on that, I’m sure Zakharchenko has his real FSB contact on speed dial, probably Borodai.

    I couldn’t decide on Borodai. His life story is cliche spy cover; freelance war correspondent at all those wars, and then he tops the tradition with his “crisis consulting business.” Too perfect. While you are devising a plan to insert your agent into a crisis situation, he is being hired to go there and consult. So I figure, even if Borodai set this up for entrepreneurial reasons, FSB would latch on to it somehow. He’s an agent or a prized asset.

    In any event, when Girkin hit him up with the “Novorossiyan Project,” I’m sure he reported it immediately and was asked to go along to keep an eye on the “disgruntled former employee.” (Igor, a vindictive little man, is in a snit because FSB wouldn’t let him “double dip” on his pension; i.e., get pension from both FSB and the army for his time in Chechnya.)

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